Stereotypical Disrespect

How do we get past stereotypes in our political discourse and responsibly face the real issues? New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is now the poster child for promoting stereotypes to support the imposition of liberal/progressive priorities in law.

Here is the full context of what Andrew Cuomo said during a recent radio interview:

“I think what you’re seeing is, you have a schism within the Republican Party. The Republican Party is searching for an identity. They’re searching to define their soul. That’s what’s going on. Is the Republican Party in this state a moderate party or is it an extreme conservative party? That’s what they’re trying to figure out. And it’s very interesting because it’s a mirror of what is going on in Washington, right?

“The gridlock in Washington is less about Democrats and Republicans. It’s more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans. And the moderate Republicans in Washington can’t figure out how to deal with the extreme Republicans. And the moderate Republicans are afraid of the extreme conservative Republicans in Washington, in my opinion.

“You’re seeing that play out in New York. There’s SAFE-ACT. The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE-ACT. It was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate. Their problem is not me and the Democrats, their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are “right to life,” “pro assault weapon” “anti-gay”? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are. If they’re moderate Republicans, like in the Senate right now, who control the Senate — moderate Republicans have a place in this state.”

Let’s parse the nonsense. Mr. Cuomo characterizes “extreme conservatives” as those who are “right to life,” “pro assault weapon,” and “anti-gay” and further notes that such people (according to his definition) “have no place in the state of New York.” It is uncertain whether he considers people “extreme conservatives” if they satisfy one, two, or all three of his criteria.

The only one of his three stereotypes that holds water is “right to life.” Yes, Mr. Cuomo, there are millions of American’s (and possibly even New Yorkers:) who believe a fetus has a right to live, and I am sorry that you disagree. It would seem, then, only people who believe a female has a legal right to choose to end the life of her unborn fetus have a “place” in the politics of the state of New York.

Using the phrase “pro assault weapon” undermines the credibility and seeks to diminish the worth of those who believe the right to bear arms to be a core American value prioritizing and protecting the freedom of the individual from state power. Why don’t those who see insufficient evidence to conclude that banning certain weapons serves any purpose other than to unreasonably limit the right to bear arms deserve a “place” at the political table in New York, Mr. Cuomo?

Using the phrase “anti-gay” undermines the credibility and seeks to diminish the worth of those who believe that marriage between a man and a woman creates and sustains the family bonds and parenting union necessary to develop secure, independent, and strong individuals capable of assuming responsibility for their own lives and to willingly undertake perhaps the only true value of life, that being to have and raise children. According to Mr. Cuomo, then, only people who want to diminish the value of marriage between a man and a women and by implication diminish the family have a “place” at the political table in New York.

Mr. Cuomo’s comments promote divisiveness and disrespect that are the real cause of the political conflicts he helps to perpetuate as a liberal/progressive Democrat. Mr. Cuomo needs to stand in front of a full length mirror and look closely at himself, his state, and his party; as should those who gleefully embrace his stereotypes.

Regards, Pete Weldon

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